Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 5.21.34 PMThe term Commerce is defined as The activity of buying and selling especially on a large scale. I’d say that the internet is a rather large scale for such a word. Since the 80’s the word commerce has had a letter prefixed to it. Beginning with the well know letter “e”, which has been affixed to commerce to abbreviate Electronic commerce. Who knew how well it would stick!

Nowadays, there are many ways commerce continues to be used, from m-commerce for mobile commerce, f-commerce for Facebook and now, without further ado, we have p-commerce. P-commerce is an abbreviation for two different items. One being Participatory commerce, or social commerce and the other, Pinterest commerce.

So, what’s the diff?

Good question! Participatory commerce is using social platforms, or on a website site used by consumers to participate in the design or the selection of products to be purchased. An example is getting to be polled on a website to help decide what designs will be mass produced and sold on that website. Another example of this would be aScreen Shot 2013-04-29 at 4.52.23 PMny site that allows customization of a product being sold.

Pinterest commerce is still be defined, as there is no current shopping cart or purchasing available directly on Pinterest, but many ecommerce sites are utilizing the pinning power to help influence users to return to the site to purchase the products added to their pinboards. Also, upon pinning products to pinboards, depending on the following, users can direct followers to the website to make the same purchase. Not only does this drive sales, but it also helps spread brand awareness.

In all honesty, I don’t see a HUGE difference between Participatory and Pinterest commerce. While Participatory commerce helps decide what will sell well before putting items into production, Pinterest helps spread brand and product awareness. One is a precursor to production while the other helps gather reactionary data for future product forecasts.

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